Branding… a word that looks small but definitely has a big meaning – especially for businesses. Now, we see this time and time again… business owners getting branding confused with just whipping up a logo. A logo isn’t branding – it’s a component of what makes up branding.
Small business owners know that it is the small touches which have a drastic impact on their business and can be contributing factor to ensuring or preventing success. Among those touches includes the marketing concept of branding. By branding your business or products, you ensure that your name will reach beyond normal audiences and leave a long-lasting impression.
What is Branding?
Branding is a marketing strategy in which a business gives a specific design, name, symbol, term or some defining factor to their goods or services. Brands bring an immediate connection to the mind between your products/services and your business and can thereby be a very powerful marketing resource. Branding creates both a physical and emotional response to the customer. It is the emotional response that needs to be leveraged in today’s busy world. What some business owners forget is branding is messaging (on the website or in store), your customer’s experience, and the visuals of your brand that should be consistent across all mediums.
Branding also prevents the duplication or illegal use of your services and products by competitors. Today, technology makes it simple for your hard work to be stolen or duplicated. However, with branding, what makes your services/products unique is linked to your name and reputation.
Why is branding key for small businesses?
To successfully utilize this marketing strategy, small businesses should consider what image they want to leave with their clientele and how they want the clientele to feel when they see that image and think of the company. Businesses have their own marketing language which is why they develop a specific clientele base (this is your target market). Branding is key to small business success because it allows the businesses to understand itself and its clientele on a deeper level while finding one of the most concise means possible to market to that clientele.
The steps taken toward branding are in and of themselves useful in helping a small business create a marketing language—argued by many experts as an essential component of a strong and successful company. First, create a buyer persona. Imagine the ideal client that would purchase your products or utilize your services and write a biography about him/her that includes her education, background, lifestyle, and how she feels and thinks about the products/services. The second is to establish the business’s tone of voice. Whether formal, casual, or informal every business has a way that they communicate to their clientele through marketing called tone of voice. The third is to know the brand’s value not only in monetary terms but also what the brand stands for. By exploring these steps, small businesses learn a great deal about themselves and their clientele. Branding is really about the messaging you want to convey.
Why should you invest in branding for your business?
Because a brand is the perception of the company by the clientele, investing in branding can significantly aid in small business growth and development. Investing in branding can mean attracting better customers. By following the first step in the exercise above, businesses learn specifically what type of customers they expect to target. As has been proven, people prefer to buy brands rather than just buying the products themselves. Having a brand is a way of inadvertently demanding respect and a better price for products or services. Choosing you over your competition.
Using this marketing strategy allows small businesses to stay up-to-date and often results in selling products and services more quickly. A business’s ability to understand its own marketing language, product/service value, and target audience, can reduce the cost of marketing. Finally, investing in branding gives the company an image that has been proven to increase the value of the company not only externally but also internally for the owners and staff.